Part one: Burial

A/N: An advent children one shot… I need to really stop playing FF7 and watching Advent Children, it's getting to be a bad habit. Curse OCRemix's new soundtrack, I can't get myself to stop listening to it… Anyway, I just got this idea and thought I'd submit. Some of the movie dialogue is altered to suit my needs, not much, but some.

It was ironic, how he appeared sheathed in fire. His silver hair was cast in crimson, his black trench coat seemed to smolder, his icy eyes reflected an artic waste land… It was as if the man Shinra had considered its best, and that man was sheathed in ashes and woe.

Such images were found in the heart of destruction, so it was ironic then that when he wrenched his gaze from those empty eyes he truly saw. Desolation, destruction, they were the bringers of loss, the heart of it, or so went cannon. Yet, such things were the same tools used in everyday construction.

He remembered, in distant times, being a child. Weren't most boys given a small yellow toy to play with? One that was adept at pushing large dust bunnies and offending spots of dirt? He recalled once upon a time ago having one for himself. Tseng had stood over him then, watching, amused, while Rufus Shinra -son of the President- made rumbling noises in his throat while crawling on his hands and knees. Small hands had driven the car shovel hybrid around his room. It was only when Rufus had eyed Dark Nation's litter box as a potential digging ground that Tseng had taken the toy away.

"No Rufus-Sama, you must not dig there. It's unclean."

"But Tseeeeng!"

"No, and no."

"Why?" Rufus huffed, looking up at his toy with longing.

He'd long for the moon and get it first before he got it back now. It was perched securely in the Turk's calloused hands, and few things were safer than those that Tseng held onto. Not that Rufus understood that then, he'd only know that he'd get it back when and if Tseng gave it back. He'd never take a substitute for the real. It was the original toy or nothing, and that was another thing that he didn't understand that either.

"You do not root out the unclean. It is dangerous. You bury it, yes. You bury it amongst the dust and dirt and ash and other lowly things, but you do not dig it out again. Such things are forbidden."

Uncomfortable silence fell. There was Tseng being different again. Why couldn't he say "because I said so" like everyone else? But then Tseng was different, from everyone else, and sometimes it was in a good way.

And sometimes it was in a bad way. Like now, when Tseng made a big boring deal out of nothing.

Blue eyes thinned as a startling thought came to the boy who owned them. Running a hand through his hair he looked slyly up at his body guard.

"So does that mean I don't have to clean out Nation's box ever again?"

"You like the smell?" Tseng countered Rufus' question with one of his own. That was horribly unfair! But before he could sulk over that the import of Tseng's query hit home.

"No." Rufus answered.

"It is not wrong to remove that which is unclean and tainted when its contamination threatens all."

Rufus frowned then, confused. "But you just said…"

"An old proverb," Tseng answered, with a wry smile. "Now I temper it, with common sense."

Quietly Rufus watched on. His Turks… his friends… writhed on the floor of the wooden lodge. He stared impassive, images of Sephiroth flickering behind the red haze of pain in his mind. Fire and ashes, they'd buried a mad man in such. And they'd added a coating of ice to boot.

Looks like we didn't bury the bastard deep enough. Rufus mused ruefully, watching the swaggering youngster with silver hair approach. Cropped, Rufus noted with relief, the hair was cropped, not long. Not that swaying mass if silver that was ice reflecting fire, an eternal contradiction brought to you compliments of hell.

"I so hate liars."

Destruction was necessary, a hated necessity, but one all the same. You ripped out cancer with knives and poison, all the actions of extraction seeped with a façade of brutal efficiency. Yes, it was hard, cruel, and damaging, but it was like every other burial. You did so to save the whole from the corrupted lesser.

And the scars, to earth, to flesh, were one and the same.

A necessary evil, done once than forgotten, and hopefully it would never come back. You threw the wasted, the twisted, the destructive all in the same pit, and you buried them, scaring the planet even as you excised the cancer out of humanity. Because a cancer left untreated was a danger to its host and to all around.

Burial, Rufus mused as he leaned into the back of his wheel chair, wasn't so bad after all. You just have to do it deep, deep and fast and make sure no one finds the corpse. Because resurrection of a demon only garnered you hell. His sweet sheathed hands clenched on the arms of his mobile confinement. Rufus only permitted himself that one motion, the whole of him barely stirred as the silver haired bravo approached.

"I want the truth this time, Mr. President." Kadaj purred.

"And you'll have it." Rufus offered, his tone cool, unruffled. He barely hesitated, though a loud moan from Reno made him pause for half a breath. "We dropped what you seek while we were running away from you. We were careless."

"You swear it?"

The child -though Kadaj looked like a man the adolescent's sullen manner was reminiscent of a child's pout- dipped his hands into a pocket. Black leather, Rufus noted, another accessory that the rich and hot headed craved for their precious image. He would have sneered, save that expression was a costly thing that the Stigma rarely permitted. A mere twitch of his face would sent a searing agony through his skull, he wasn't going to waste an expression and pay the pain needed to scoff at a mere child. The gloved hand immerged from its pocket plunge beating two lengths of plastic, off white, red splattered…

"Then swear on these."

With a careless flick Kadaj sent them spiraling to the ground. Rufus cursed the confines of his white cowl, ached to thrust it aside, yet he dared not. To move would dislodge it and that which would be revealed! He remained still, unmoving, unmoved, save for his eye. Uncovered, half concealed anyways, he allowed it its frantic search.

Then he saw, as the card's flight ended with a sight as it touched the ground. Their names, their faces, all ringed 'round in white. The Shinra motif smudged with their blood.